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County highway helps Albion put in new culvert on Clarendon Road

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 August 2019 at 11:59 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – An inspector stands in a culvert and watches the Orleans County Highway Department and the Town of Albion Highway Department put in and compact fill material this morning.

The inspector is making sure the material is properly compacted and done at the same time on each side of the culvert on Clarendon Road.

A section of Clarendon Road was closed on July 8 and should reopen in late August in time for the new school year.

Andy Morrison of the Orleans County Highway Department operates a Vibratory Roller to compact a crusher run material for the new culvert on Clarendon Road.

The town was awarded a $174,000 Bridge NY grant to cover 100 percent of the project’s costs. However, the construction bids for the project were way over that cost, with the low bid $130,000 over budget.

The town was looking to replace the culvert with a 3-sided precast concrete culvert. The County Highway Department, now led by John Papponetti, re-evaluated the project to see if the costs could be lowered. Papponetti is an engineer.

Papponetti and the Labella Associates engineering firm determined an arch pipe would work for the culvert. That was significantly less money.

The town and county highway employees do the labor-intensive work of compacting the fill material. It needs to be compacting at the same rate at each side of the culvert. If not, there is a chance the arch pipe could be distorted.

The town was awarded the Bridge NY grant back in January 2017. Mike Neidert, the town highway superintendent, said he appreciates the assistance from the county in getting the project done under budget.

“The county highway has been great,” Neidert.

The state grant will pay the county’s personnel and equipment costs, and also for the town’s material costs. The county has had three people assigned to the project, with the compaction today requiring a bigger crew from the county as well as three town highway workers. All of the labor costs for the town and county will be reimbursed through the Bridge NY grant.

The arch pipe is 128 inches wide at its peak and 83 inches high at the peak. It moves water from the west branch of Sandy Creek.

“There are times when you get a lot of flow through there,” Neidert said.

The section of Clarendon Road will be reopened in time for school in early September.

This is the second big culvert project the County Highway Department has completed. Last year, the Highway Department put in a new concrete culvert on Culvert Road in Ridgeway. Click here for more information on that project.

Papponetti said the county would like to work with local municipalities to put in one of two culverts each year. That way the infrastructure work continues to go forward, especially when it can be difficult to secure state and federal funding for projects.

A successful Albion project, getting done on time and under budget, should help the local communities stand out in applying for bridge and culvert grants, Papponetti said.

“These projects are graded on your ability to deliver them on budget, and on schedule,” he said.

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